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Arrest of six men following UK football match-fixing investigation

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has confirmed that it has arrested six men as part of an investigation into alleged match-fixing in English football.

The investigation surrounds a suspected international illegal betting syndicate, which has been accused of fixing games in the English lower leagues.

At least three of the six men arrested are thought to be footballers, none of whom are linked to professional clubs.

The NCA confirmed it is working with the UK Gambling Commission and Football Association (FA) as part of the investigation.

“We have worked closely with the authorities in relation to these allegations,” the FA said in a statement. “The FA will make no further comment at this time due to ongoing investigations.”

The Gambling Commission said it had provided advice, intelligence and expertise in supporting the investigation and continues to liaise with the NCA and FA.

The arrests come following an undercover investigation by UK newspaper the Daily Mail, which claimed a betting syndicate fixer from Singapore discussed the possibility of influencing the scores and outcomes of lower league English games for £50,000 (€58,500/$80,000) during a meeting in Manchester.

The fixer claimed gamblers could make hundreds of thousands of pounds by using the inside information through bets places on websites based in Asia.

The newspaper reported that the fixer offered to target two matches and that he would tell players how many goals he needed to be scored in the game.

In a video on the newspaper’s website, the fixer can be heard claiming that he would pay a player £50,000 to get a yellow card on purpose at the start of the match as a signal that the game would be fixed.

The English Football League said it had not yet been contacted by the police about the ongoing investigation.